The Little Lighthouse

Flashlite #330

June 4th, 2015

John HardyToday’s show is an episode in our Rock’n'roll Anthems series. Previously we featured Louie Louie, I Fought The Law, Tobacco Road, Train Kept A-Rollin’, Money (That’s What I Want). Today we go the way back to the late nineteenth century when a railroad worker John Hardy committed a murder and got hanged afterwards. The story and the event went into a legend and into a song. The song eventually made it to the records in the twenties and quite a few rock musicians found the story exciting enough to include it into their repertoire. Most notably, my favorite version of Gun Club. As it usually happens in folk traditions, they are not always historically accurate. There was also another character John Henry, who was a a steel driver who apparently defeated a steam powered hammer. For whatever reason, musically and lyrically, some musicians of the past mixed the two different characters and song and elements of one went into another. So, today, we explore these two stories and the impact they had on rock’n'roll. Most recently, Danny Kroha recorded the legend of John Henry on his new lp, so the two characters still continue to keep our attention.

Clarence Ashley – Old John Hardy;
Wild Billy Childish – John Hardy;
Gun Club – John Hardy;
Jeffrey Lee Pierce – John Henry;
George Thorogood And The Destroyers – John Hardy;
Manfred Mann – John Hardy;
Uncle Tupelo – John Hardy;
Johnny Cash – The Legend Of John Henry’s Hammer;
Lead Belly – John Hardy;
Buell Kazee – John Hardy;
Ernest V. Stoneman – John Hardy;
Mississippi Fred McDowell – John Henry;
Roger McGuinn – John Hardy;
Roger McGuinn – John Henry;
Tom T. Hall – More About John Henry;
The Sir Douglas Quintet – Story Of John Hardy;
Van Morrison – John Henry;
Danny Kroha – John Henry.

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Bonus

Neon Rainbow (ex Mystery Train)
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June 13, 2016: DOWNLOAD

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Poetry Music Scene #4:

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Underwritten and sponsored by:

THE BLUE ARROW RECORDS

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